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Is there a solution to the problem of splitting narratives between books? Probably not. Money balls. That’s just how this goes, allegedly. Apparently.

By their nature, books are limited in pages. I mean, yes, in theory a digital novel could be a million pages but that’s called the Oxford English Dictionary and no one reads that in its entirety either. Sales are still dominantly hardcopy. Which means limiting page count by necessity.

There is also research that indicates the average page count of Best Sellers is increasing. In that sense, one could argue readers want longer stories. Which, again, I’m not against, only the split narratives. Though, as I hope I’ve illuminated, it is a concept that’s commingled in origins.

I don’t need one, either, necessarily. I enjoy these stories. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t bother to keep reading them or the sequel.

All I am saying is that by forcefully splitting the narrative into halves or thirds, you’re weakening the overall presentation of said narrative. It means I’m more likely to pass on a series (ie: A Song of Ice and Fire) until it’s complete and the completion of a series is predicated on its sales. If the book doesn’t sell… well, yeah.

Perhaps the solution is simple: stop holding classic stories up as the pinnacle of perfection. Don’t emulate them. Perhaps they were the best that generation had to offer but by comparing and mimicry, we have not only diminished the genre but failed to push its boundaries.

Also, tell your story in the most efficient manner possible. Remember the page counts of Harry Potter’s first 3 books

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

They’re nothing like the final four.

  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

Those stories are tight and complete. They don’t wander. Extraneous material is excised and, because we never know it was there, we don’t miss it.

Have another story idea? Keep it for a later book. Another example of this: see the Half-Blood Prince.